winter campfire


Our Policy: “No-one will be denied for lack of funds.”


SATURDAY YOUTH: “Squirrels & Coyotes”

Note time change: 10 am – 4 pm at Sassafras (plus field trips to other island locations on dates t.b.a.)
Cost:  $360 per Series (Fall, Winter, Spring) for 10 Saturdays,  $45 for Saturday Walk-ins. 

NEW: Year-round Mentoring Packet $980 includes all  Saturdays (Sept thru May), a seasonal check-in with parents, and a mentoring meeting with Sassafras staff.

Saturday Squirrels & Coyotes is an ongoing outdoor program during the school year for G1 and up. Squirrels are our younger group, and Coyotes the older ones. We spend the day outside, finding nature’s mysteries, honing outdoor skills, and playing games. Development of common sense and learning how to be safe in the woods is balanced with timeless exploration, play, and crafting. Some of our all time favorites are: Shelter building, ancient fire making, cooking over an open fire, whittling skills, sneaking and stalking, tracking, bird language, storytelling and of course JTC, and other games. We will include some field trip days, that meet in different locations around the Island. As soon as you are ready to enroll, you will receive all info needed. Bring a lunch and a water bottle in a day pack, and wear weather appropriate clothing.

FALL SERIES Saturday  Sept 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov 5, 12, 19, Dec 3, 2016

WINTER  SERIES (No Walk-ins, Series only) Carving, Fire by Friction, Winter Adventures – Dates: Sat  Jan 7 (cancelled), 14, 21, 28, Feb 4, 11, 18, 25, Mar 11, 18, 25, 2017

SPRING  EXPLORE SERIES Dates: Epic adventures in a different island location each week – Dates: Sat April 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27, June 3, and 10, 2017.

Locations & Meeting Point drop-off and pick-up):

  • 4/8 Sassafras AQ
  • 4/15 Wakosim’s Rock – Trailhead/Parking off North Rd WT/Chilmark Town Line
  • 4/22 State Beach – Bend in the Road Edgartown –  for MB Beach Clean-up and Earth Day
  • 4/29 Chappaquiddick – end of Dock St, Edgartown side of the Chappy Ferry
  • 5/6 Duarte Ponds WT – Black Water Pond Preserve, off Lambert’s Cove Rd
  • 5/13  Southern Woodlands OB – Featherstone Parking & Trailhead
  • 5/20 Cedar Tree Neck WT –  meet at the circle end of Indian Hill Rd in WT
  • 5/27 Fulling Mill Brook Chilmark – Trailhead & Parking off Middle Road, Ch.
  • 6/3 Menemsha Hills Chilmark – Trailhead & Parking off North Road, Ch.
  • 6/10 Sassafras AQ

FOREST KINDERGARTEN Fall 2016shapeimage_4

Weekly Friday Program starts September 16
Time: 9 am – 3 pm
Cost: $480/Fall Series, $480/Winter Series, $480/Spring Series, $1,340/Entire School-year (see dates below)

Sassafras’ Forest Kindergarten Program is suitable for children that are Kindergarten age, or will be by fall 2016 up to age 7. Parents and scientists alike, are beginning to recognize what our ancestors already knew: The vital importance for young children to spend time outdoors, in the wild, to discover the world through unrestricted play and curiosity. Children’s innate curiosity for nature brings about connection, and learning naturally follows in their own unique rhythmSassafras’ nature connection mentors truly listen to their stories and help deepen connective experiences. Children spend the day outside, while we do have a yurt to give us a break from very cold or wet weather. Children will move their bodies, wander and explore, take on responsibilities, practice fine motor skills, do hands-on projects, tell their own stories, make up songs, and play to their hearts content. As Richard Louv’ points out, we need vitamin “N” (Nature time) for being whole, Sassafras offers unlimited nature time in a connective structure that can be compared with the setting of a small village. Our  excellent programming is based on the 8 Shields Model or Nature Connection Mentoring. Our collective experience over the past 20 years, has shown that children coming up thru our programs, develop healthy attributes without fail, that are so needed in today’s world like happiness, vitality, empathy, being helpful, and a deep love for all that lives, including themselves. We give preference to children enrolling for the entire school-year (all 3 Series), have a maximum of 8 spaces available, and offer payment plans and scholarship options.

FALL SERIES Friday  Sept 16, 23, 30, Oct 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov 4, 18, Dec 2, Dec 9, 2016

WINTER  SERIES Friday  Jan 6, 13, 20, 27, Feb 3, 10 (cancelled), 17, 24, Mar 1o, 17,  24, 31, 2017

SPRING  SERIES Friday April 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16, 2017.

Try-out Policy: We occasionally accept visitors to try out for a day at FK, provided that there is genuine interest and timely communication. If you enroll for the series afterwards, there is no additional charge, if you don’t we charge $45 for the day.


Tuesday April 18, 9 am – 3 pm
Cost:  $45 for a walk-in 

Join a “classic” day at Sassafras for April Vacation, for outdoor skills, games and fun survival challenges!  You can also sign up for the entire week titled “Spring into Nature” that Sassafras is a part of. It’s organized by Felix Neck and the MVEEA, with a different location every day.

Spring into Nature Brochure w:Portuguese Translation 2017

GIRLS in the WOODS AFTERSCHOOL Spring 2017AoM-CarlyTree

Dates:  May 12, 19, 26, June 2 
Time: 3:30pm – 6 pm  (exact pick up time depends on school bus)
Cost: $50 Please go to the Registration page to secure you spot!

Sassafras’ girl empowerment program is starting up again!

Afterschool program on 4 Fridays for girls ages 8-12 to deepen connections with the land,  themselves and each other. Explore woods, trails, streams and coastline, delve into natural mysteries, find wild edibles and medicinals, play games that heighten your awareness, laugh with friends and express yourself.  Engage in storytelling, cooking over a fire, singing, making up songs and rhythms, and follow your passion. Learn to take the lead and work as a team to experience the empowerment of meeting edges together with other girls, guided by women mentors. Girls can take the schoolbus to Aquinnah and will be picked up at the Aquinnah library bus stop. Parents pick up at Sassafras at the end of the program. 



Sassafras’ Outdoor Home School program provides naturalist’, earth and life skills training, through hands-on outdoor experiences that are balanced with reading & writing on outdoor topics. Our curriculum includes: Nature observation, sensory awareness games, tracking, crafting,  creative storytelling, research and journaling, bird language and playing music. Experience a natural way of learning, by following the seasonal changes and place-based curriculum, through quality mentoring. If you are interested, please contact Saskia Vanderhoop, per the email below.


Sassafras offers a variety of programs for schools and other organizations. In the past, we have facilitated day programs as well as overnight experiences, for the Oak Bluffs School, the Chilmark Schools, the Charter School and schools off island. With the school’s team or teacher, we create a format that includes the schools objectives and work with elementary middle and high school students. Please contact us via the email below.